The 3 most destructive words that every man receives when he is a boy, is when he's told to be a man.
We've constructed an idea masculinity in United States that doesn't give young boys a way to feel secure in their masculinity. So, we make them go prove it all the time.
Within their peer group culture each of them is posturing based on how the other boys are posturing,
and what they end up missing is what they each really want, which is just that closeness.
In good times guys are, like, really close to each other,
but when things get a little bit worse
you're on your own.
From middle school I had four really close friends.
Once I went kind of went into high school, I struggled finding people I can talk to because I feel like I'm not supposed to get help.
Our kids get up every morning. They have to prepare their mask for how they're going to walk to school.
A lot of us don't know how to take the mask off.
What is it you don't let people see?
Almost 90% of you have pain and anger
on the back of that paper.
If you never cry then you have all these feelings stuffed up inside of you, and then you can't get them out.
They really buy into a culture that doesn't value what we feminized. If we're in a culture that doesn't value caring,
doesn't value relationships, doesn't value empathy, you are going to have boys and girls, men and women go crazy.
I had anger issues in high school. I felt like an outcast.
I've been suspended at least once
every year I was here.
We would just look for trouble and just like, try to fight.
Boys are more likely to act out, they're more likely to become aggressive. Most people miss that as depression, or see it as a conduct disorder, or just a bad kid.
I felt like just giving up on life, you know, see I had suicide thoughts in my head in sixth grade.
I felt alone for, for a long time,
and I actually thought about killing myself.
Whether it's homicidal violence, or suicidal violence, people resort to such desperate behavior, only when they are feeling shamed and humiliated, or feel they would be if they didn't prove that they were real men.
If you're told from day one 'don't let nobody disrespect you', and 'this is the way you handle it as a man', respect is linked to violence.
If I can man up, why step down from that, you feel me?
It's like instinct.
So man up!
Grow some fucking balls!
Act like a man. Be a man.
Be a man!
For my kids, I was gonna end this hyper masculine narrative here.